Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Misleading Minutes

The minutes of the July full council meeting have just been published and of interest to Caebrwyn is the way in which Item 7, 'Libel indemnities' was recorded for printed posterity.

To the casual reader it would appear that there nothing untoward had ever happened.  The word 'unlawful' has been carefully omitted from the whole section. Also omitted is the statement made by the First Minister of Wales, just the day before, and read out in full by Cllr Alun Lenny. You may recall that it went like this;

"...in terms of the situation in Carmarthenshire, we as a Government have said that it is not right to provide any sort of indemnity in terms of what has happened there. At the end of the day it is something for the council but it is exceptionally important that the council does ensure that they do not place officers in a situation where they do have some sort of indemnity in terms of cases that have gone to court, and that point has been made in the past"

The Minutes, perhaps wisely, have also omitted the brief rant from the chief executive.

Due to the overwhelming urge to peddle the official line, anyone from the distant future who happens to undertake a study of 'Council Minutes in the dark ages', will go away with a very slanted view of local government in Carmarthenshire; the renowned experts at putting propaganda and spin into official records of proceedings; or, airbrushing the past.

They will also be wondering, if there was nothing wrong with the libel indemnity, why the clause was removed from the Constitution.

...and what they will not be aware of either is the identity of the very senior official who approves the Minutes...and who, I discovered, is not averse to doing a bit of editing either....


Anonymous said...

You make a very good point about the minutes. If the minutes are not to be reflect the reality of what happens in the meetings, then really, what's the point?

Someone (Sian Ciach perhaps) needs to challenge their veracity.

caebrwyn said...

Anon 17:17
You're right; which is why I thought webcasting/public filming would be a good idea - if all meetings were recorded there would finally be a true record. So far, we've got full council only.

Over the years Sian Caiach, and others, have challenged the veracity of Minutes - unfortunately, they are usually shouted down...